Kofa slumps against Calexico
The Kofa boys basketball team entered halftime tied with Calexico on Thursday.
But the well ran dry for the Kings' offense in the second half, and the Bulldogs won 43-30 in the opening game of the Southwest Rotary Classic at Kofa.
The Kings (2-7) managed just nine points in the final 16 minutes – including a two-point third quarter.
“We had open looks, we just weren't scoring and we weren't reversing the ball quickly, and that led us to turning it over a couple of times,” Kofa coach Danilo Montialli said.
Sophomore guard Issac Coronado finished with a team-high 15 points on 6 for 14 shooting for the Kings and scored all seven of Kofa's points in the fourth quarter.
“He's our scorer and our floor leader,” Montialli said. “He had an off-game, and he was able to help try and lead us back. Unfortunately, we couldn't make stops on defense and gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
The Bulldogs were led by senior Adolfo Ortiz's 14 points, five rebounds and three steals, and senior guard Timothy Yee added 11.
Montialli used a deep rotation against the Bulldogs, playing 13 players in the early-season tournament in preparation for Arizona Interscholastic Association Power Point games, in which the Kings are 2-2 on the season.
“I'm using this tournament to where I can put some players in some positions and see if I can count on them during the season,” he said.
Playing in the afternoon allowed the Kofa student body to pack the stands as the Kings led 17-14 midway through the second quarter after a basket by Coronado. The sophomore made another basket later to give the Kings their last lead of the day at 21-20 – a free throw by Ortiz tied it going into halftime.
Then came the third quarter.
The Bulldogs slowly built their lead as the Kings struggled to figure out Calexico's zone defense and went scoreless the entire quarter until a lay-up by senior Manny Camacho with less than a minute to go in the quarter made it 36-23.
“We were 1 for 13 (shooting) in the third quarter,” Montialli said. “That sort of hurt us getting back into the game.”
Calexico's zone defense seemed to stymie the Kings in the final quarter. Montialli said Kofa didn't move the ball around quickly enough, which resulted in a seven-point fourth.
“We're holding the ball on one side, which made it easy for the zone defense to just load on one side. We need to do a better job reversing the ball and attacking from the weak side.”
The Kings face Mountain View Christian in the consolation bracket at 9:30 a.m. today at Kofa.
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.